WWW Wednesday: November 29th, 2023

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme Sam hosts at Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

Here is what I am currently reading, recently finished, and plan to read from Thursday to Wednesday.

Let me know if you have read or are planning on reading any of these books!!

Happy Reading!!


What I am currently reading:

Hailey Arquette found the ultimate photo opportunity deep in the Texas bayou, a pair of playful panther cubs. Before she can capture the shot, she witnesses a different type of shoot that lands in the crosshairs of a vicious killer.

FBI agent Trenton Briner has long known the coastal waters of Texas are ripe for the opportunity for smuggling. His current investigation leads him to a mouthy teen with an uncanny knack for landing in the thick of trouble at every turn.

When another body turns up, the trio must untangle the mystery before the smugglers find their target.


What I recently finished reading:

A rebellious young heroine begins a voyage of self-discovery in the third novel of an epic fantasy series set in the world of Viridian Deep, from the legendary author of the Shannara saga.Auris’s adoptive sister Char has always been the baby of the family—a position that grates on Char, especially when everyone insists on telling her exactly what to do and how to do it. But Char is certain that her headstrong, impulsive behavior, the quality her family sees as her greatest weakness, is actually her greatest the willingness to instantly brave danger and leap to the rescue when anyone she loves is threatened. Char knows she will never grow into the woman she was meant to be under her family’s loving but repressive eye, so a month before she turns fifteen, she runs away and joins a Human pirate crew in the warm southerly regions of her world. Then, three years into her pirate career, her captain—the man she is convinced she loves—is captured by the leaders of the slave trade he has been fighting. When Char leaps in to rescue him, she finds herself thrust into an adventure that will uncover secrets she never suspected about herself, one that will maybe, finally, teach her to look before she leaps.


What I think I will read next:

Taking place between the events of Ride for Glory and Hard Boot, this Christmas special visits North Oak over the holidays. A happy one- finally!
At least that’s how it seems on the outside.

Inside, 17-year-old Alexandra Anderson is struggling with her heart, both physically and emotionally. She is ready to commit to a relationship with Dejado Augustun, until a minor accident with best friend Carol changes everything.

Forced to do a hard check on her life, Alex realizes chances only come once. Can she pull herself together in time to start the racing season?
Or will heartache and heart trauma hold her back?

The Triple Crown & Tiara are on the line.

HARD CHECK– definition (verb), when a jockey is forced to restrain his mount at speed to avoid catastrophe.

HIDDEN SECRETS. UNEARTHED TRUTHS.

Simone Doucet returns in this chilling novel to uncover the sinister truth behind a series of murders within an opulent mansion in the heart of New Orleans’ Garden District.

Simone yearns to escape the confines of her New York City brownstone. She jumps at an opportunity to house-sit in a gorgeous Queen Anne Victorian home in her cherished New Orleans Garden District.

Upon her arrival, the walls whisper like ancient voices. The owner’s parrot mimics an eerie nightly tune, and elusive footsteps echo through the floorboards. Simone quickly discovers she is not alone in this majestic house.

Tackling the afterlife alone, Simone becomes entangled in the narratives of three tormented souls caught in a web of greed, hatred, and infidelity. Their deadly secrets converge in a bone-chilling tale of murder.

Yet, within the grandeur of Ballard House, Simone is far from alone. The peril she faces extends beyond the spectral world, and she will soon confront evil from both the living and the dead.

What dark secret lies hidden within the walls of Ballard House?

Heartstopper meets A Knight’s Tale in this queer medieval rom-com YA debut about love, friendship, and being brave enough to change the course of history.

It’s been hundreds of years since King Arthur’s reign. His descendant, Arthur, a future Lord and general gadabout, has been betrothed to Gwendoline, the quick-witted, short-tempered princess of England, since birth. The only thing they can agree on is that they despise each other.

They’re forced to spend the summer together at Camelot in the run-up to their nuptials, and within 24 hours, Gwen has discovered Arthur kissing a boy, and Arthur has gone digging for Gwen’s childhood diary and found confessions about her crush on the kingdom’s only lady knight, Bridget Leclair.

Realizing they might make better allies than enemies, Gwen and Art make a reluctant pact to cover for each other, and as things heat up at the annual royal tournament, Gwen is swept off her feet by her knight, and Arthur takes an interest in Gwen’s royal brother. Lex Croucher’s Gwen & Art Are Not in Love is chock full of sword-fighting, found family, and romantic shenanigans destined to make readers fall in love.

It’s Monday: What Are You Reading—November 27th, 2023

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet and share what you have been and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit, comment, and add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at The Book Date.

Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kid-lit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle-grade novels, young adult novels, or anything in those genres – join them.


Personal:

  • We celebrated two birthdays last week. Mr. Z turned 16 and Miss B turned 18. We celebrated with family on their birthdays and Miss B had her friends over on Sunday.
  • We should be hearing from Western Carolina about Miss B’s application soon!! They said they are sending out decisions before December 15th. Keeping my fingers crossed for her.
  • We are touring her 2nd choice college next weekend. She has friends who go to that college, which will be helpful if she gets accepted.
  • Thanksgiving was awesome. BK makes the holiday dinners in our household. He made stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, turnips and carrots, butternut squash, a small ham, and a turkey breast.
  • We did yard work on Saturday, about 4 hours of it. We raked (and mulched) a ton of leaves, put our outdoor table and chairs underneath our deck, and picked up trash (well, Miss R did that since it was her mess).
  • We will be putting up Christmas lights and decorations next weekend (yay!!). We have our tree up, but the cats have gone insane with it being up. Thankfully, Walmart sells $39 trees because we will have to get a new one.

Reading/Blog

  • I didn’t do much reading over the holiday. I finished two books (yikes). I am hoping to catch up this week since I am behind on two books.
  • Now, reviews are a different story. I am behind three reviews (well, four if you count the book I’m reading now). Again, I am hoping to catch up this week.
  • I still have under 60 books on NetGalley. If I get these reviews written, I will have four more coming off this week, bringing me close to my goal of being near 50.

What I am Reading Now:

A rebellious young heroine begins a voyage of self-discovery in the third novel of an epic fantasy series set in the world of Viridian Deep, from the legendary author of the Shannara saga.Auris’s adoptive sister Char has always been the baby of the family—a position that grates on Char, especially when everyone insists on telling her exactly what to do and how to do it. But Char is certain that her headstrong, impulsive behavior, the quality her family sees as her greatest weakness, is actually her greatest the willingness to instantly brave danger and leap to the rescue when anyone she loves is threatened. Char knows she will never grow into the woman she was meant to be under her family’s loving but repressive eye, so a month before she turns fifteen, she runs away and joins a Human pirate crew in the warm southerly regions of her world. Then, three years into her pirate career, her captain—the man she is convinced she loves—is captured by the leaders of the slave trade he has been fighting. When Char leaps in to rescue him, she finds herself thrust into an adventure that will uncover secrets she never suspected about herself, one that will maybe, finally, teach her to look before she leaps.


Books I plan on reading later this week

Taking place between the events of Ride for Glory and Hard Boot, this Christmas special visits North Oak over the holidays. A happy one- finally!
At least that’s how it seems on the outside.

Inside, 17-year-old Alexandra Anderson is struggling with her heart, both physically and emotionally. She is ready to commit to a relationship with Dejado Augustun, until a minor accident with best friend Carol changes everything.

Forced to do a hard check on her life, Alex realizes chances only come once. Can she pull herself together in time to start the racing season?
Or will heartache and heart trauma hold her back?

The Triple Crown & Tiara are on the line.

HARD CHECK– definition (verb), when a jockey is forced to restrain his mount at speed to avoid catastrophe.

Bookish Travels—September 2023 Destinations

I saw this meme on It’s All About Books and thought, I like this!! So, I decided to do it once a month also. Many thanks to Yvonne for initially posting this!!

This post is what it says: Places I travel to in books each month. Books are lovely and take you to places you would never get to. That includes places of fantasy too!!

Bon Voyage!!

Please let me know if you have read these books or traveled to these areas.

Countries I visited the most: United States, Utopian Sects of America, England

States I visited the most: New York, Georgia, Massachusetts, California, Pennsylvania

Cities I visited the most: New York City, Los Angeles, Capitol City, Base Nain, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Buffalo


Morning Realms

Zanhei, Old Changxi, Flower Town

United States

New York (New York City, Brooklyn, Mount Kisco, Yorktown Heights, Brewster, Poughkeepsie, Hudson, Amsterdam, Utica, Syracuse, Seneca Falls, Medina, Buffalo, Niagra Falls), Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)
Unknown state (Wyndy Hallows, Golden City, Forrest Heights), New York (New York City), Massachusetts, Louisiana (New Orleans)
Georgia (Peridot)
Georgia (Atlanta), Washington D.C.
California (Los Angeles), Oregon (Verdana)
Illinois (Chicago)
Virginia (Fairfax)
Massachusetts (Boston, Watertown), California (Los Angeles, Venice, Santa Monica)
California (San Fransisco, Berkeley, Oakland, Sonoma)
New York (Rudolph)
New York (New York City)
Pennsylvania (Glenhaven, Philadelphia)
Georgia (Atlanta), New York (New York City, Buffalo), Missouri (Saint Louis, Springfield, Cedar Wood), Nevada (Las Vegas), Florida (Miami), Connecticut (Stamford), Florida (Haynes)

France

Paris

The Netherlands

Amsterdam

Germany

Berlin

The Czech Republic

Prague

The Federated States of Polynesia

Samoa

Cuba

Havana

Unknown Planet

Nameless Run, Comez, Vine, Grenshtepple

England

London

Utopian Sects of America

Capitol City
Base Nain
Base Nain, Capitol City
The Capitol
The Capitol

Papua New Guinea

Irian Jaya, Wamena

The Atlantic Ocean


Tantalus 13

September 2023 Wrap-Up

Here is what I read/posted/won/received/bought in September.

As always, let me know if you have read any of these books and (if you did) what you thought of them.


Books I Read:


Books I got from NetGalley:


Books I got from Authors/Indie Publishers:


Giveaway Winners


Books Reviewed:

A Cold Highland Wind by Tasha Alexander—review coming October 3rd (4 stars)

Guardians of Dawn: Zahara by S. Jae-Jones—review here (5 stars)

The Breakaway by Jennifer Weiner—review here (4 stars)

Death by a Thousand Sips by Gretchen Rue—review here (4 stars)

Have You Seen My Sister by Kirsty McKay—review here (3 stars)

Night of the Living Queers by Shelly Page—review here (4 stars)

A Dragon’s Dyne by Brett Salter—review here (4 stars)

The Blue, Beautiful World by Karen Lord—review here (2 stars)

Seams Deadly by Maggie Bailey—review here (3 stars)

Fly with Me by Andie Burke—review here (4 stars)

In Darkness: The Werewolf by L. Diane Wolfe—review here (4 stars)

Scenes of the Crime by Jilly Gagnon—review here (3 stars)

Thank You for Sharing by Rachel Runya Katz—review here (4 stars)

The Sanctuary Motel by Alan Orloff—review coming October 24th, 2023 (4 stars)

Dreambound by Dan Frey—review here (4 stars)

Dream Shatter by Ann Hunter—review here (4 stars)

Dream Runner by Ann Hunter—review here (4 stars)

Sandymancer by David Edison—review here (3 stars)

The Golden Gate by Amy Chua—review here (4 stars)

Have Yourself a Deadly Little Christmas by Vicki Delany—review here (4 stars)

Dream Watcher by Ann Hunter—review here (4 stars)

Dream Giver by Ann Hunter—review here (4 stars)

Dream Rising by Ann Hunter—review here (4 stars)


Reading Challenges:

August

2023 TBR Toppler (a book by a LGBTIA+ author)—One Last Stop

2023 Monthly Themes (August: A book set in Asia)—Diffusion

2023 Reading Challenge (a book in your least read genre)—They Called Us Enemy

2023 ABC Challenge (H)—Heartbreaker


Books I bought:

Falling to Centerpieces by Ellie Cahill

Grim’s Little Reaper by Raisa Greywood

Bowled Over Americano by Carolyn Arnold

The Devil I Don’t Know by L.K. Shaw

Marshal in Petticoats by Paty Jager

A Touch of Midnight by Lara Adrian

True Colors by Thea Harrison

Double Crossed by Ally Carter

Salt in the Wound by Sierra Simone

Show Me How to Love You by Jasmine Haynes

Revenge by Jasmine Haynes

Second Chance Ranch by Jenna Hendricks

Finding Love in Montana by Jenna Hendricks

The Ghost Files by Apryl Baker

A Little Wilder by Serena Bell

The Wolf and the Witch by Claire Delacroix

Flirting with the Playboy by Gia Stevens

In All My Wishes by Ciara Knight

Free Fall by Brad Thor

Epilogue II: A Bonus Chapter to Hidden Order by Brad Thor

Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

The Witch Sisters by Alma Katsu

Lover’s Knot by Karen Chance

On Basilisk Station by David Weber

Captive in the Dark by C.J. Roberts

Red at Night by Katie McGarry

Dream Rising (Dream Runners: Book 5) by Ann Hunter

Publisher: Racing Into Romance Press

Date of publication: March 3rd, 2022

Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia

Series: Dream Runners

Dream Shatter—Book 1 (review here)

Dream Runner—Book 2 (review here)

Dream Watcher—Book 3 (review here)

Dream Giver—Book 4 (review here)

Dream Rising—Book 5

Dream Legacy—Book 6

Purchase Links: Kindle

Goodreads Synopsis:

The battle for The Capitol has begun.

Logan and Reina have revealed the truth of what The Circle has been doing for a century. Citizens now realize that their beautiful utopia was built upon their stolen dreams. With The Circle unmasked, everyone now has a choice of whether to rise up against them for their tyrannical crimes, or stand aside.


Despite being seemingly defeated, The Circle has one more card to play: their martyr, and Logan’s best friend, Jonas Basker.


As the face of propaganda against Anyone, the late Jonas still has some pull amongst the people. That is why Logan and Reina must prove Anyone’s innocence by showing citizens how subverted The Circle really is. Luckily, their new friend has a secret worth going to the grave for.


With the government’s covert archives being targeted for destruction, time is running out to save what little remains of the good still left in Logan’s world.


Can The Circle truly be stopped?


First Line:

“Citizens of The Capitol, you have been lied to.”

Dream Rising by Ann Hunter

Things you need to know about the book before you read the review:

Dream Rising is the 5th book in the Dream Runners series. You cannot read this as a stand-alone book. You must read books 1-4 to understand what is happening and better grasp the different relationships. If you do not read those books first, you will get confused.

Dream Rising is appropriate for anyone over 16.

There are some trigger/content warnings in Dream Rising. If any of these trigger you, I suggest not reading the book. They are:

Violence, some of it graphic.

Grief (Logan is mourning the deaths of his best friend, father, and biological mother).

Mentions of Reina’s near rape and assault by two of the Duners.

Forced captivity (Logan holds Naressa, and The Circle holds Baelfyre).

Mind control (through the chips) makes the chipped people become zombie-like creatures.


Plot Synopsis (as spoiler-free as I can get):

At a significant personal cost, Logan and Reina have revealed the truth about what The Circle has been doing to The Capitol’s citizens. But The Capitol, not admitting defeat, is running propaganda featuring Logan’s deceased best friend, Jonas Basker. Having gone to ground, Logan is holding Naressa, his adoptive mother, captive. Naressa tells Logan that The Archives, where all the records have been stored since the city was founded, are scheduled to be destroyed. She also implies that Jonas’s grandfather, Baelfyre Basker, has something to do with the chips being corrupted, and he needs to be killed. So, Logan, Reina, and Sparky must stop the Archive from being destroyed and figure out the deal with Baelfyre Basker. But what they find out might change their minds about everything.


Main Characters

Logan Kent: Logan is a mess in Dream Rising. He has witnessed his father and biological mother being killed before him and Reina being threatened with death by Naressa. Logan is still grieving the death of his best friend, Jonas. He is in hiding from The Capitol’s armed forces and has Naressa with him, who is playing mind games. Logan also has the mystery of the chips and why they malfunction to solve. I did worry about his sanity during this book because, with everything that was revealed and happened, I thought he would crack. I believe Logan would have if it weren’t for Sparky and Reina. He handled what was revealed towards the end of the book pretty well (I know I wouldn’t have), and I liked how he adapted.

Reina: Oh boy, was she spicy throughout the book. Her anger was palpable at the beginning. I understood her anger. I would have been angry if I had a time bomb in my head. But, towards the middle of the book, her anger turned to an unwavering resolve to end the chip problem. I wouldn’t say I liked her and Baelfyre’s plan, but there wasn’t any other way.

Naressa Kent: Saying that she was evil is an understatement. She messed with Logan’s head until the end of Dream Rising. She knew what she asked Logan to do when she sent him after Baelfyre.

Baelfyre/Jonas Basker: Baelfyre and Jonas (they share the same body) was a very unexpected twist to Dream Rising’s storyline. There were glimpses and mentions of Baelfyre throughout the previous books, but I thought that was it. I liked how the author explained how Jonas came to share Baelfyre’s body (it was heartbreaking). I also liked how Reina and Baelfyre devised a plan to free the chipped. It was a risk but worth it.

Sparky: Sparky the Duner was a significant part of this book. Sparky proved to be a great friend to Logan. He also was pretty clever (which surprised me).

Mandy Potkins: I was thrilled when Mandy was brought back in this book. Mandy had been keeping Baelfyre/Jonas safe from The Circle. But she has a secret. I can guess what it is, but until I read Dream Legacy, I can’t say for sure.


My review:

Dream Rising was a great read. The author focused my attention on Logan and Reina’s storyline while introducing characters and embellishing storylines.

Early in the series, I decided that The Capitol would not be the dystopian society I would like to live in. But after this book, it is even more confident for me. I would never let anyone put a freaking chip in my head (so I guess I would be an Anyone). I was slightly freaked out by the chipped people becoming zombies and what The Circle made them do. Reina and Baelfyre devised a solution. It might not be ideal (there were considerable risks with what they were going to do), but it made sense.

Dream Rising ends with a cliffhanger, as with the other books in the series. I wasn’t thrilled by this, considering what was revealed. But at the same time, it did its job and made me want to pick up Dream Legacy.

Many thanks to Ann Hunter for allowing me to read and review Dream Rising. All opinions stated in this review are mine.


If you enjoy reading books similar to Dream Rising, then you will enjoy these:


Other books by Ann Hunter

Dream Giver (Dream Runners: Book 4) by Ann Hunter

Publisher: Rebel House Ink

Date of publication: April 1st, 2022

Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia

Series: Dream Runners

Dream Shatter—Book 1 (review here)

Dream Runner—Book 2 (review here)

Dream Watcher—Book 3 (review here)

Dream Giver—Book 4

Dream Rising—Book 5

Dream Legacy—Book 6

Purchase Links: Kindle

Goodreads Synopsis:

Members of Anyone have gone missing.

The Circle is still determined to take down the rebel faction, Anyone, by any means necessary. After infiltrating The Capitol, Logan and Reina are shocked to find their comrades are being kidnapped, then returned– chipped, forcing them to come to heel beneath The Circle’s thumb.


The only way to level the playing field is to destroy the devices controlling the people. Logan and Reina must set out to find the small, hidden tech, and disable the chips that are turning friends into foes. The only problem? There’s a mole in the ranks of their allies revealing the duo’s next move before they can act.


Can Logan and Reina uncover the traitor before The Circle forces Anyone to destroy itself?

Fans of The Matrix, Inception, and The Giver have been dreaming of this series for a long time coming.


First Line:

I am Logan ve Elehna. I’ve killed two men.

Dream Giver by Ann Hunter

Plot Synopsis (as spoiler free as I can get):

Dream Giver starts immediately after the shocking and heartbreaking events of Dream Watcher. Kendall Kent, Logan’s father, has chipped Reina and is trying to force Logan into leaving Anyone, the rebel faction. But Logan refuses and gets away with Reina. Soon after, Logan and his team take over the building where Logan used to work. They discover that The Circle has nefarious use for the chipped and are horrified to see it in action. They also find a traitor in their midst—someone reporting back to The Circle and telling them Anyone’s plans. Logan, Reina, and their allies must not only find out who the traitor is, but they need to destroy the devices that control the chips. Can they destroy the chips before The Circle forces Anyone to destroy themselves? And who is the traitor?

Main Characters

Logan Kent: Logan is the son of Kendall and Naressa Kent, two high-ranking officials in The Circle. He is also the biological son of Elehna, the head of a rebel group called Anyone. Logan has discovered the truth about his birth in the previous books. In Dream Giver, he works with Elehna and Anyone to free The Capitol from The Circle. Logan has matured throughout the books but still does act impulsively. He is a natural ambassador and has brought Anyone and the Duners together to fight for The Capitol (even though the Duners might not be entirely on his side).

Reina: Reina is a medicine thief whom Logan met in Dream Shatter. She is a member of Anyone and is willing to do whatever it takes to keep her people free and unchipped. Reina showed Logan that Anyone isn’t the monstrous rebel faction that The Circle has been portraying. In Dream Giver, Reina has finally recovered from her numerous injuries and being chipped. Reina is with Logan when the chipped Anyones are turned into zombies. She is turned but, with the help of an old friend, is brought out of kill mode.

Kendall Kent: Kendall doesn’t become a significant part of the plotline until this book. He is portrayed as a weak man who defers to his wife, Naressa. But, in Dream Giver, Kendall shows his true character. He is willing to do anything for his son to keep him safe.

Elehna: Elehna is the head of Anyone’s council on Base Nain. She is also Logan’s biological mother. Elena is helping Logan with trying to take over The Capitol. But she also might have an alternative reason for assisting Logan. Elehna is a voice of reason when Logan is upset. She has a very calm demeanor. Also, I should note that she is chipped. She got chipped in place of Logan, and Naressa has been able to keep tabs on her that way.

My review

Dream Giver is book 4 in the Dream Runners series. You cannot read this book as a standalone. You need to read books 1-3 to understand what is happening in Dream Giver.

Dream Giver is a well-written story that does follow some predictable storylines. I was okay with that and looked forward to the predictability. There were enough unpredictable storylines that kept me on my toes while reading.

The storyline with Logan, his father, what was happening to the chipped rebels, and Reina was harrowing. I didn’t know where this storyline would take me or who would be affected. I understood Logan’s anger and why he acted the way he did at the beginning of the book. But I also liked that Elehna made Logan look at what Kendall did from another angle: as a parent terrified for his child. I was horrified at what The Circle had the chipped rebels do and what Reina almost did to Logan. It made the ending so much more horrifying.

The continuing storyline with Logan and Reina’s budding romance was sweet and a little funny to read in parts. I liked seeing Logan’s feelings towards Reina grow. Of course, the author kept Reina’s feelings under wrap until the very end of the book. All I have to say is what a way to find out!!!

The end of Dream Giver broke my heart. I did not expect the events to unfold the way they did. I also didn’t expect Naressa to make the appearance that she did and didn’t expect her to try what she did. She did get what was coming for her. But, saying that, I think she will be a considerable part of the next book (just a feeling). I hope Logan can get his revenge because if he doesn’t, I might have to drop into the book and do it myself.

I would recommend Dream Giver to anyone over 16. There is violence but no language or sexual situations. There are a couple of scenes where Reina remembers her attempted rape by the Duners. There are also a couple of scenes where the author describes Reina’s chip being overridden and her being forced to hurt Logan.

Many thanks to Ann Hunter for allowing me to read and review Dream Give. All opinions stated in this review are mine.


If you enjoy reading books similar to Dream Giver, then you will enjoy these:


Other books by Ann Hunter:

It’s Monday: What Are You Reading?—September 25th, 2023

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet and share what you have been and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit, comment, and add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at The Book Date.

Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kid-lit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle-grade novels, young adult novels, or anything in those genres – join them.


Personal:

  • Applying for scholarships is tedious (and yes, I said that). But Miss B has been applying for every single one she sees, and hopefully, we will get something.
  • Miss R is killing it at school. She got her 3-week progress report home last week. She got 3 A’s (all 95 and higher) and one B (over 85).
  • We are still monitoring Miss B’s health. It hasn’t gotten worse, but it hasn’t gotten better. I will be calling midweek to schedule an appointment to talk to the doctor about a referral to a cardiologist.
  • Mr. Z joined the tabletop D&D club at school. They are meeting after school on Wednesdays. Since I will be a half-hour away (Miss R’s riding lessons), we signed him up for Uber Teen. This Wednesday is going to be his first time using it.
  • Speaking of afterschool, Miss B has joined the prom committee. They are starting to meet after school. Her National Beta Club and National Technical Honor Society will also have after-school meetings. I am happy to see the schools returning to what they were like pre-Covid.
  • BK’s birthday was on Saturday. He turned 50, and Miss R delighted in teasing him about how old he is now….lol. The kids and I got him a new Kitchen Aide stand mixer, which he loved.

Reading

  • I was finally able to read three books from my reading challenges. I truly felt like I accomplished something.
  • As for my review reading, I am right about where I want to be with that. I am slightly ahead, with one review to write.
  • My NetGalley total went up. I was sitting at 55 (and very proud of myself for that) when I got emails from St. Martin’s Press and Random House. After I downloaded those books, my total went up to 58. One step forward, two steps back.

What I am Reading Now:

The battle for The Capitol has begun.

Logan and Reina have revealed the truth of what The Circle has been doing for a century. Citizens now realize that their beautiful utopia was built upon their stolen dreams. With The Circle unmasked, everyone now has a choice of whether to rise up against them for their tyrannical crimes, or stand aside.
Despite being seemingly defeated, The Circle has one more card to play: their martyr, and Logan’s best friend, Jonas Basker.

As the face of propaganda against Anyone, the late Jonas still has some pull amongst the people. That is why Logan and Reina must prove Anyone’s innocence by showing citizens how subverted The Circle really is. Luckily, their new friend has a secret worth going to the grave for.
With the government’s covert archives being targeted for destruction, time is running out to save what little remains of the good still left in Logan’s world.
Can The Circle truly be stopped?


Books I plan on reading later this week:

Peace comes with a price.

A new day is dawning on the liberated Capitol. Logan and Reina have worked hard to free the minds of everyone under The Circle’s rule. No longer is it a world of haves and have nots. People can now make their own choices and forge a future for their land as they deem fit.
But having grown weary of the battle, Logan and Reina aren’t ready to lead. Who, then, is worthy? The last thing the couple wants is their new regime to end up in unrest again.
Their only choice may be turning to the last person standing within The Circle– a scientist and inventor who holds the secrets of the past.
Lasting peace is within sight, but at a grave cost.
Will turning over their brave new world really be Logan and Reina’s best option?

Decades after events during the Gulf War that left two men for dead, William Paradise and John Brazer are in the U.S. planning revenge against the man that ordered the hit on them.

These men risk everything they have in order to bring down their former General.

Sometimes the “Good Guy” doesn’t always win.

Dream Watcher (Dream Runners: Book 3) by Ann Hunter

Publisher: Rebel House Ink

Date of publication: March 1st, 2022

Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia

Series: Dream Runners

Dream Shatter—Book 1 (review here)

Dream Runner—Book 2 (review here)

Dream Watcher—Book 3

Dream Giver—Book 4

Dream Rising—Book 5

Dream Legacy—Book 6

Purchase Links: Kindle

Goodreads Synopsis:

Logan Kent knows too much.

He knows his idyllic life in The Capitol is a lie. He knows a secret society is pulling the strings of their puppet government. And worst of all, he knows they built their utopia upon the stolen dreams of its citizens.

When the rebel faction, Anyone, rises up against The Capitol, Logan escapes The Circle and runs away with Reina, the rebel medicine thief who helped him see behind The Capitol’s lies. But having reached Anyone’s last free base in the country, Logan realizes what he knows is a weapon.

Anyone will use what Logan knows to bring The Circle to its knees. And his biological mother is at the heart of Anyone’s council.

Having a choice is what Anyone has been fighting for. Why they’ve wanted to free others. Free agency is worth dying for; but to Logan, going back across the arid Expanse and Heartlands feels like a suicide mission.

What choice does he have other than to betray his friends and the freedom of every citizen back home?

Fans of The Matrix, Inception, and The Giver have been dreaming of this series for a long time coming.


First Line:

Naressa is my mother.

Dream Watcher by Anne Hunter

Logan Kent has finally reached Base Nain with Reina. But Reina, gravely injured after an attack by The Capitol’s Army, is taken to the hospital to recover. With his knowledge of what The Circle is doing to its citizens, Logan realizes that what he knows could free The Capitol from The Circle. Given a choice of remaining with the Anyone faction and risking a massacre of its people or going home and using his knowledge to help Anyone expose The Circle, Logan chooses to go home. But going home will have risks, and Logan knows what they are. Can Logan accomplish what Anyone wants him to do? Or will everything he risked be for nothing?

I am deeply involved in this series, you all. I figured my enjoyment of it would wear off after book three, but it hasn’t. The author has done a great job hooking me and keeping me hooked on this series.

As with the last review, Dream Runner has some trigger warnings. They are assault, body horror, and torture. Logan witnesses the king of the Duners brutally assault his right-hand man for Reina’s attempted rape. The king has injuries replaced with cybergenetic parts (his eye changes color with his mood). The Duner who tried to rape Reina is chained to the wreckage of his bike and is refused water. Logan tries to give him some, and another Duner stops him, explaining that he knowingly broke the rules and will suffer the consequences. The Duner king also assaults Logan to make it look like he was tortured while he was gone.

Dream Watcher is the 3rd book in the Dream Runners series. You need to read the first two books to understand what is happening in this one. In other words, you cannot read this book as a standalone. You will be confused (even with the author’s brief rundown at the beginning).

Dream Watcher’s storyline centers around Logan, Anyone, and what This book has a twisty plotline that kept me glued to my Kindle. I did not know what each chapter would hold.

The storyline with Logan, Anyone, and what he knows is twisty. I get why Logan ultimately did what he did: he didn’t want any more people to die because of him. But I wish that I didn’t get the sense that his biological mother was subtly pushing him towards going home. Something about her didn’t sit right with me. Also, I wouldn’t say I liked how Logan was treated when he returned to The Capitol.

I felt so bad for Logan throughout this book. He had one bombshell after another dropped on him. Finding out that Naressa wasn’t his mother. Finding out that Elehnya is his mother and that she got chipped to keep him safe. Finding out that he isn’t chipped. Finding out that Elehnya did something to him so she could speak in his mind. Discovering that Elehyna is the head of Anyone’s council. Realizing that he was in love with Reina. Going home. It was a whirlwind, and even I got dizzy reading it. I thought to myself that the kid needed a break. He needed something good to happen to him. Even when he got back home, he was traumatized.

Reina wasn’t featured much in this book. She was dealing with severe blaster injuries, a dislocated arm, and trauma from nearly being raped. So, the author gave her some time to recoup. She does pop up toward the end of the book, but not how I wanted her to.

The end of Dream Watcher was jaw-dropping. I did not expect what happened to happen. My mouth dropped open, and a “No way” was said. I had to reread what was written because of what happened. Of course, it ended on a cliffhanger, but it was a good cliffhanger this time.

I would recommend Dream Watcher to anyone over 16. There is violence and language. There is no sexual situations.

Many thanks to Ann Hunter for allowing me to read and review Dream Watcher. All opinions stated in this review are mine.


If you enjoy reading books similar to Dream Watcher, check these out:


Other books by Ann Hunter:

WWW Wednesday: September 20th, 2023

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

Here is what I am currently reading, recently finished, and plan to read from Thursday to Wednesday.

Let me know if you have read or are planning on reading any of these books!!

Happy Reading!!


What I am currently reading:

It’s beginning to look a lot like murder in the sixth installment of this charming cozy mystery series, perfect for fans of Donna Andrews and Jacqueline Frost.

It’s the beginning of December in Rudolph, New York, America’s Christmas Town, and business is brisk at Mrs. Claus’s Treasures, a gift and décor shop owned by Merry Wilkinson. The local amateur dramatic society is intensely preparing a special musical production of A Christmas Carol. But it’s not a happy set, as rivalries between cast and crew threaten the production.

Tensions come to a head when a member of the group is found dead shortly after a shopping excursion to Mrs. Claus’s Treasures. Was someone looking to cut out the competition? Everyone in the cast and crew is a potential suspect, including Aline, Merry’s mother, and Merry’s shop assistant Jackie O’Reilly, who was desperate for a starring role.

It could be curtains for Christmas—and for Merry—unless the killer can be ferreted out of the wings.


What I recently finished reading:

Amy Chua’s debut novel, The Golden Gate, is a sweeping, evocative, and compelling historical thriller that paints a vibrant portrait of a California buffeted by the turbulent crosswinds of a world at war and a society about to undergo massive change.

In Berkeley, California, in 1944, Homicide Detective Al Sullivan has just left the swanky Claremont Hotel after a drink in the bar when a presidential candidate is assassinated in one of the rooms upstairs. A rich industrialist with enemies among the anarchist factions on the far left, Walter Wilkinson could have been targeted by any number of groups. But strangely, Sullivan’s investigation brings up the specter of another tragedy at the Claremont, ten years the death of seven-year-old Iris Stafford, a member of the Bainbridge family, one of the wealthiest in all of San Francisco. Some say she haunts the Claremont still.

The many threads of the case keep leading Sullivan back to the three remaining Bainbridge heiresses, now Iris’s sister, Isabella, and her cousins Cassie and Nicole. Determined not to let anything distract him from the truth―not the powerful influence of Bainbridges’ grandmother, or the political aspirations of Berkeley’s district attorney, or the interest of China’s First Lady Madame Chiang Kai-Shek in his findings―Sullivan follows his investigation to its devastating conclusion.

Chua’s page-turning debut brings to life a historical era rife with turbulent social forces and groundbreaking forensic advances, when race and class defined the very essence of power, sex, and justice, and introduces a fascinating character in Detective Sullivan, a mixed race former Army officer who is still reckoning with his own history.


What I think I will read next:

Members of Anyone have gone missing.

The Circle is still determined to take down the rebel faction, Anyone, by any means necessary. After infiltrating The Capitol, Logan and Reina are shocked to find their comrades are being kidnapped, then returned– chipped, forcing them to come to heel beneath The Circle’s thumb.

The only way to level the playing field is to destroy the devices controlling the people. Logan and Reina must set out to find the small, hidden tech, and disable the chips that are turning friends into foes. The only problem? There’s a mole in the ranks of their allies revealing the duo’s next move before they can act.

Can Logan and Reina uncover the traitor before The Circle forces Anyone to destroy itself?

The battle for The Capitol has begun.

Logan and Reina have revealed the truth of what The Circle has been doing for a century. Citizens now realize that their beautiful utopia was built upon their stolen dreams. With The Circle unmasked, everyone now has a choice of whether to rise up against them for their tyrannical crimes, or stand aside.

Despite being seemingly defeated, The Circle has one more card to play: their martyr, and Logan’s best friend, Jonas Basker.
As the face of propaganda against Anyone, the late Jonas still has some pull amongst the people. That is why Logan and Reina must prove Anyone’s innocence by showing citizens how subverted The Circle really is. Luckily, their new friend has a secret worth going to the grave for.

With the government’s covert archives being targeted for destruction, time is running out to save what little remains of the good still left in Logan’s world.
Can The Circle truly be stopped?

A new romantic comedy that will stop readers in their tracks…

For cynical twenty-three-year-old August, moving to New York City is supposed to prove her right: that things like magic and cinematic love stories don’t exist, and the only smart way to go through life is alone. She can’t imagine how waiting tables at a 24-hour pancake diner and moving in with too many weird roommates could possibly change that. And there’s certainly no chance of her subway commute being anything more than a daily trudge through boredom and electrical failures.

But then, there’s this gorgeous girl on the train.

Jane. Dazzling, charming, mysterious, impossible Jane. Jane with her rough edges and swoopy hair and soft smile, showing up in a leather jacket to save August’s day when she needed it most. August’s subway crush becomes the best part of her day, but pretty soon, she discovers there’s one big problem: Jane doesn’t just look like an old school punk rocker. She’s literally displaced in time from the 1970s, and August is going to have to use everything she tried to leave in her own past to help her. Maybe it’s time to start believing in some things, after all.

Casey McQuiston’s One Last Stop is a magical, sexy, big-hearted romance where the impossible becomes possible as August does everything in her power to save the girl lost in time.

What would you sacrifice to bring to light the greatest discovery in human history?

Quentin Darnell was only a boy when his anthropologist parents were overcome by a professional failure so crushing it led to his father’s suicide. Now a schoolteacher, Quentin is looking for answers that can only be found in the wild terrains of Indonesian Papua, where years ago his parents studied an isolated aboriginal tribe.

Quentin leads his wife, son, and six students on a field trip to experience Papua’s pristine tropical forests. When their plane tragically crashes in the wilderness, Quentin becomes trapped in a vicious fight to protect the ones he loves.

Just as resources and hope run out, several mysterious tribesmen appear, bearing a substance with extraordinary healing properties. The material promises to benefit all of humanity. But it’s much more than medicine. It creates creatures unknown to science. And it brings to life what should remain dead—including Quentin’s own son, Addison.

Logic and sanity begin to unravel. Addison speaks a new language. He knows things he shouldn’t. And he’s a killer.

For the others to escape, Quentin must face a decision no parent should have to make.

Dream Runner (Dream Runners: Book 2) by Ann Hunter

Publisher: Rebel House Ink

Date of publication: February 1st, 2022

Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia, Romance

Series: Dream Runners

Dream Shatter—Book 1 (review here)

Dream Runner—Book 2

Dream Watcher—Book 3

Dream Giver—Book 4

Dream Rising—Book 5

Dream Legacy—Book 6

Purchase Links: Kindle

Goodreads Synopsis:

Logan Kent is abandoning everything he knows.

Logan’s parents have failed to recruit him into the folds of The Circle– a secret society puppeteering the government and forming a utopia by stealing the dreams of its citizens.
Unrest has broken out between The Capitol and the rebel faction, Anyone. Now Logan is running away with Reina, a medicine thief from Anyone, to escape the oppression of The Circle and find refuge with those still clinging to their free will.
Danger awaits between the quiet outlying Heartlands and an arid expanse where few dare cross. Will they reach the last major rebel outpost in the country before The Circle starts hunting them down?

Fans of The Matrix, Inception, and The Giver have been dreaming of this series for a long time coming.


First Line:

I didn’t want to let go…but I did.

Dream Runner by Ann Hunter

Logan wants nothing to do with his parents or The Circle. With Reina, the medicine thief from Anyone, they decide to run away from The Capitol and the oppression that The Circle creates. They are running towards Base Nain, which some think is a myth. But the voice in his head and Reina’s belief says otherwise. To get to Base Nain, Logan and Reina must travel across an arid expanse filled with danger, human and otherwise. Will Logan and Reina find Base Nain? Or will they be hunted down by The Circle?

If you haven’t read Dream Shatter, I suggest leaving this review, picking up Dream Shatter, reading it, and coming back here. Why? There will be some spoilers, and I don’t want to ruin Dream Shatter for anyone. Don’t worry; this review will be here when you get back.

Now that I said that, back to the review.

Dream Runner is book 2 in the Dream Runners series. This book is not stand-alone. You need to read book one before you pick this one up. Essential details and events will be discussed in Dream Runner that will confuse you if you don’t read Dream Shatter first.

I rarely do this, but I will put up a trigger warning here (it is also a spoiler, so skip it if you don’t want to read it). The warning is attempted rape and violence. A senior officer of the Duners almost rapes Reina before Logan can get to her. There is also a lot of violence in this book. If any of these triggers you, I suggest not reading this book.

The main storyline for Dream Runner centers around Reina, Logan, and their quest to find Base Nain. It is a fast-moving storyline that has zero lag. It was also well written, with characters I am starting to care about and others I wonder about.

The storyline with Reina, Logan, and their quest to find Base Nain was fascinating. The author added layers to a world I am already fascinated with because of what happened in The Capitol. Reina and Logan never got time to grieve (Reina for her brother and people, Logan for his best friend). Instead, they struck out and evaded capture several times during the book, each more harrowing than the other. I did get a sick feeling in my stomach when the Duners (think Mad Max but more tech-savvy) caught Logan and Reina. I got even more disgusted when I realized what the group leader had planned for her. By the time they arrived at Base Nain, they were battered, emotionally and physically.

I adored Logan in this book. He went from being somewhat useless in book 1 (he was!!) to becoming Reina’s hero in Dream Runner. When Reina was injured, Logan became her backbone. When the Duners captured them, Logan fought with everything he had. He ended up saving Reina from being raped. When The Capitol found them in the dust storm, Logan was the one to lead her through the dust storm and carry her into Base Nain.

I wanted to hug Reina. She had witnessed her brother being killed by The Capitol, her underground village (with the people in it) being destroyed by acid, her arm dislocated when Logan rescued her from the sand, and a Duner nearly raped her. It was a wonder that she wasn’t screaming when they entered Base Nain. It showed how strong she was and how determined she was to get to the base.

The romance angle was adorable and wasn’t mentioned until Logan and Reina arrived at George’s farm. Then, I saw more and more of Logan falling in love with Reina. Of course, I couldn’t see if Reina had feelings for him back until almost the end of the book.

The end of Dream Runner ended on another cliffhanger. She dropped the doozy of all twists right before the author finished the book. I was not expecting what was revealed, and neither was Logan. I had to read those last words twice before they sunk in. It made me very excited to read book 3.

I would recommend Dream Runner to anyone over 16. There is language and violence. There are no sexual situations. There are trigger warnings (the attempted rape is off-page).

Many thanks to Ann Hunter for allowing me to read and review Dream Runner. All opinions stated in this review are mine.


If you enjoy reading books similar to Dream Runner, then you will enjoy these:


Other books by Ann Hunter